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MARIPOSAS ART
August 12, 2008

After having stumbled upon a Fundraising Concert for Mariposa's Art, at the old "Java House" downtown, I applied for an art teaching position at Mariposa's Art. Mariposa's Art is local Not-for-profit here in Santa Cruz which had a position open working with at-risk youth, specifically 8-10 yr. old girls in San Jose and Pajaro Valley. Having had my own Mural Painting business for 4 yrs., I was at a point where I needed a change of career. Art and painting was my life but I had also been working as a Substitute Teacher for some time, on days when I didn't have mural painting clients. So, having the opportunity to combine my work with kids and art.. full time... seemed like a dream come true! It has now been four years since I applied for my position at Mariposa's Art, and I am now the Elementary School Coordinator in charge of setting up and over seeing Five School Sites where we teach after-school programs throughout the week. Our Executive Director, Theresa Stevens is the most appreciative woman I've ever worked with. What a gift, to influence children and expose them to not only art, but to expression and personal artistic freedom as well! Mariposa's Art is designed to teach students how to work in a safe environment, learn about themselves, speak up in class, and work well in groups. Our "Art and Leadership" classes are designed for third to fifth grade girls and boys, and consist of four eight-week program cycles which focus on understanding key health issues; expanding leadership skills; making positive choices; and exploring art, music and dance. There isn't an elementary school position within the state of California which could offer me the opportunity to teach such topics. Everyday when I leave the classroom I am lucky enough to feel that the children in our class are changing, and for the better. That I myself, and my co-workers are influencing the leaders of tomorrow, and that we are actually helping to create change for a better world. Considering that due to State Funding most, if not all art classes are being cut from Junior High and Elementary Schools across California- we are lucky to still have a chance to let our children express themselves. Mariposa's Art makes that possible. Please join me in helping to support Mariposa's Art and the children that we work with.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Pajaro Valley and San Jose Unified School Districts because this year Mariposa's Art won the Gold Metro Santa Cruz Award for Best Kid's Art Program within Santa Cruz County.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing different, than Theresa Stevens, Executive Director does.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the children, watching them grow and open up artistically and seeing them present themselves with more confidence as the school year comes to an end.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing, artistic, hardworking and enthusiastic with their students.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

influence, help and teach more children all over California, and could even become Nation Wide!

Ways to make it better...

Mariposa's Art had more funding due to generous donations from Individual Monthly or Yearly Donors such as yourself.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it's about time Mariposa's Art received a donation of advertising from some generous Individual Donor or Company, so that the public could be exposed to what we do and who we influence.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Elementary School Coordinator 2 yrs. and Facilitator/ Teacher for Mariposa's Art for 4 yrs. now.